Already struggling with a high Covid-19 mortality rate, Punjab is likely to see near doubling of such deaths in the next two weeks, as per the projections by a senior doctor who led a team of experts that had audited every fatality in the state due to the highly infectious virus.
“There was a projection of 170-175 deaths due to Covid-19 till July 9. As per the projections, we may lose another 100-150 people in the next two weeks,” said Dr KK Talwar, advisor to the Punjab government on health, medical education and research.
As per the Punjab health department bulletin, Punjab had recorded 183 Covid fatalities as of Thursday.
Talwar, under whose guidance Punjab government has constituted two expert advisory committees for better management of Covid, said the model used to project the figures for death and infections in state was bang on pint. “We had the projection of 7,000 cases in Punjab till July 9. The projection has been correct as the numbers are almost matching. This shows that the model has been correct,” said Talwar.
With 234 fresh infections on Thursday, the total number of people testing positive for novel coronavirus in Punjab was 7140.
The senior doctor, meanwhile, blamed the spike in the cases to the “casual attitude” of people who have “thrown all caution to wind during the unlock period.”
“I do not understand why people have become so lax. They are thinking lockdown has been lifted and they can take it easy while this is not the case. They are not realising that they are still in the midst of the pandemic. Anybody can be affected. They need to understand that we all need to take precautions. Lockdown cannot remain forever. People have to work also. But they should be cautious and check the spread. Otherwise, many people will get it and some will unfortunately lose lives also,” the former PGI director said.
Talwar, who earlier in the day gave a presentation to the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Covid situation in Punjab, expressed disappointment at political leaders organising public meetings and holding protests. “Even the leaders are not realising what they are doing. It is life as usual for them. They gather in large meetings and do not even wear a mask. They do not realise the closed spaces are high risk environment,” he added.
The CM also expressed concern over the increasing violations of safety norms in the state, many of them by political leaders, and said he will write to the presidents of all the registered political parties to seek their cooperation in checking large gatherings. He said he will also appeal to them to avoid any action that may have the potential to spread Covid.
DGP Dinkar Gupta, who too was present during the presentation, said the police had registered cases against some of the political parties for violation of Covid safety norms and his department was also planning to write to all the parties not to indulge in such acts, a government statement said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines